PULSE for June 30, 2016 |  RUC Surveys, New Reporting Standards; Lifetime Achievement Award

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The Benefits of Belonging: RUC Surveys


The SVS Coding Committee is deeply involved with issues related to RUC  -- Relative scale value Update Committee, an initiative of the American Medical Association that assures relative values are accurately and fairly presented to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  
RUC surveys are integral to this process. The SVS Coding Committee compiles survey data and uses it to form recommendations on what the relative values for particular procedures should be.
Two surveys went out to active category members recently. Committee members said completing them will help assure that the Society can make appropriate recommendations to the RUC and, ultimately, CMS.  

New PAD Reporting Standards Announced

Endovascular treatments are the focus

The Society for Vascular Surgery has released new reporting standards focused on endovascular treatment of chronic lower extremity peripheral artery disease.

Recommended reporting standards for lower extremity ischemia were last published by the SVS in 1997.

The variety of endovascular devices and techniques to treat occlusive disease has exploded over the past 10 years and critical evaluation of the reported results may be problematic. 

This document clarifies and updates the 1997 standards, specifically for reports on endovascular treatment. The document is divided into sections: Claudication Reporting, Critical Limb Ischemia Reporting, Preintervention Assessment and Nonanatomic Treatment, Intervention, Outcome Measures – Procedural, Outcome Measures – Disease Specific and Complications.

The linked document provides a summary for reporting endovascular revascularization techniques in the setting of chronic disease, with much of it based on prior publications and SVS-proposed standards.

The document also should:
•    Serve as a guide for the design of clinical trials 
•    Be a reference for journal editors and reviewers when considering scientific work pertaining to endovascular therapy for chronic lower extremity arterial disease.
See the Reporting Standards document here

Lifetime Achievement Award Presented

Dr. Jack Cronenwett Honored for his Many Contributions

The Society for Vascular Surgery's highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented during the Vascular Annual Meeting to Dr. Jack Cronenwett. 
This honor recognizes an individual’s outstanding and sustained contributions to the profession and SVS, as well as his or her exemplary professional practice and leadership.

Watch the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony by clicking in the picture at right.
Dr. Cronenwett’s achievements include building the vascular surgery division at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Center into a “powerhouse, a division of vascular surgery that has national and international recognition,” as one fellow SVS member wrote in his nomination. In addition, he was largely responsible for the development at Dartmouth of a new vascular surgery training paradigm – the 0 + 5 residency. He spearheaded the Vascular Study Group of New England, which became the model for the future Vascular Quality Initiative; with Dr. Tom Riles, then president of the American Association for Vascular Surgery, led the merger of AAVS with SVS, creating today’s more inclusive SVS; was senior co-editor of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, was co-editor of the 7th and 8th editions of Rutherford’s Vascular Surgery textbook and helped launch the SVS-PSO as an official new entity and served as its medical director.  

Examining Effects of Ankle Brachial Index

The final research plan examining the evidence on the effectiveness of screening for PAD in generally asymptomatic populations has been published by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 

A concurrent systematic review on the use of nontraditional risk factors in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment will address the evidence on the effects of resting ankle brachial index on 1) the discrimination or calibration of multivariate risk prediction models when used in addition to traditional CVD risk factors, 2) CVD risk reclassification and 3) CVD health outcomes. Together, these two systematic reviews will serve as the basis for the USPSTF recommendation on screening for PAD.
Learn more about the research plan here

VAM Contest Winners Are Announced

A number of contests were held in the run-up to the Vascular Annual Meeting and during VAM itself. The “envelopes” have been opened, so to speak, and here are our winners! No speeches will follow…
Opening Reception winner
Dr. David W. Victor, Morehead, Ky., who wins two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental United States and free registration to VAM 2017.
SVS Membership Contest winner
Dr. Ahmed Kayssi of Toronto, Canada, who receives a $500 Apple gift card. 
 Registration Contest winner
Dr. Richard Binns, of Chesterfield, Va., who receives an Apple iPad Pro. 

Register for October Coding Course

Registration is open for the Coding and Reimbursement Workshop, to be held Oct. 21-22, 2016, at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago. 

The workshop addresses the 2016 updates, including changes to endovascular stent placement outside the lower extremity and PQRS as well as coding for intravascular embolization and retrograde intrathoracic carotid stenting.

The course also will focus on reporting standards for interventional and open surgical procedures, plus includes information about the global surgical package and how it impacts billing and reimbursement, along with the application of modifiers for streamlined reimbursement. 
Learn more and register here

Links of Interest


Echoes of Presidential Address

In his Presidential Address, Dr. Bruce Perler turned time and again to his theme that vascular surgeons don’t simply treat medical conditions, they treat patients. Coincidentally, Dr. Russell Samson’s Editor’s column in the June Vascular Specialist sounded similar themes. " ... It is our daily and often lifelong interaction with our wonderful patients that so intimately reinforces our humanity and makes this profession so uniquely satisfying," Dr. Samson wrote.
Read the editorial here.

JVS: Passing the Torch 

Drs. Peter Gloviczki and Peter F. Lawrence, the new co-editors of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, reflect on "Passing the Torch." 

Register for SVS/UCLA Board Review Course

Registration is open for the "First Annual UCLA/SVS Symposium: A Comprehensive Review and Update of What's New in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery." The course will be Aug. 27 to 29 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and will offer an in-depth review of our specialty for those preparing to take the vascular board examinations as well as providing the basic didactic education for the vascular residents and fellows in training.


Two names were inadvertently misspelled in the last issue of Pulse. Dr. Ali AbuRahma is the new secretary of SVS. Dr. William Marston of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery is a new member of the Board of Directors. We regret the error. 

Job Opportunities

Looking for a new position? Below is a sample of the jobs currently available on the SVS job board.  
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